Tag Archives: environment

Palm Beach County Golf Shines in Audubon International’s Annual BioBlitz Competition

red fox sitting on grass
The award for Best Photograph went to Southwinds Golf Course, for their photograph of a Red Fox on the course.

In Audubon International’s BioBlitz, Southwinds Golf Course received the Community Engagement Award with a total of 271 participants. The key to their success was both a Lady’s Night Out and a Junior BioBlitz session that included crafting both animal masks and birdhouses along with the hunt for wildlife. The Southwinds clubhouse joined in by featuring a wildlife-themed drink menu throughout the week of the event. Park Ridge Golf Course came in second place for Community Engagement.

The award for Best Photograph went to Southwinds Golf Course, for their photograph of a Red Fox on the course. Sharon Painter, Southwinds’ General Manager, says, “We make it a priority to educate our golfers of all ages about the habitat our golf course provides to the diversity of species that call Southwinds Golf Course home.”

Now in its fifth year, this annual event, sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA), provides a unique opportunity for golf courses to engage their community members in activities designed to showcase and record the abundance of wildlife found on their course landscapes. Participating courses went above and beyond in their outreach and environmental stewardship efforts. Participants also competed for awards in Community Engagement, Biodiversity, and Best Photograph.

All five Palm Beach County golf courses are certified Audubon International courses, a distinction that is given to golf courses that employ environmental-friendly practices in maintaining their facilities.

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Audubon International is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to creating sustainable environments in all the places people live, work and play. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, individual properties, recreation sites, and entire communities.

Southwinds Golf Course and Park Ridge Golf Course are operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information on county-operated golf courses, visit www.pbcgolf.com.

Palm Beach County Celebrates Marine Life Protection Under Blue Heron Bridge

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On Thursday, April 11, Palm Beach County and scuba diving enthusiasts joined together for a celebration of marine life protection at Phil Foster Park under the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach.

“We were able to do this and preserve a really important part of Palm Beach County – the County has invested a lot here and we wanted to help them protect that and make this resource available for everybody,” said Dr. Thomas Reinert, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Regional Director.

The event celebrated recent changes by the FWC that prohibit the collection and possession of marine life fishery species (species collected and managed for the tropical aquarium trade) within Phil Foster Park and surrounding waters.

The changes will maintain high-quality snorkeling and diving opportunities and contribute to the conservation of species under the Blue Heron Bridge and at Phil Foster Park. The Blue Heron Bridge area is internationally recognized by scientists, scuba divers, underwater photographers, and snorkelers for its abundance of unique marine life and was named one of the 50 best dive sites in the world by PADI Sport Diver magazine and referred to as Florida’s “best shore dive” by SCUBA Diving Magazine.

PBC Parks Hosts Beach Cleanup on National Skip the Straw Day

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Boynton Beach residents Jessica and Sandy Rowley are a mother-daughter duo, who, for the past 25 years, have made a habit out of cleaning up parks and natural areas around the area to ensure a cleaner, safer community. So naturally, when they heard about Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation’s Skip the Straw Day Beach Cleanup on the morning news, they immediately wanted to be a part of the effort.

“Every little bit helps, we come here all the time, might as well keep it clean,” said Jessica.

On the morning of February 22, roughly a dozen volunteers made their way to Ocean Inlet Park to help rid the popular beach of litter. It was held on National Skip the Straw Day, in an effort to bring attention to the issue of non-degradable litter often found on Palm Beach County beaches. The unofficial holiday encourages people to recognize the harmful effects of non-degradable plastic commonly known to contaminate the ocean and harm marine life.

Volunteers liked the Rowleys filled a 33-gallon trash bag with debris from the beach park. Every volunteer received a bag containing a t-shirt, water, snacks & environmental literature, and pickers, gloves and garbage bags were supplied.

For the mother-daughter team, the cleanup was important because it helps strengthen their appreciation for nature. “We love getting out in nature and enjoying everything and seeing all the animals… and it’s sad to see garbage everywhere,” said Jessica.

For more information about volunteering for the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, visit pbcparks.com.

What’s that Plant? Strangler Fig!

The Florida Strangler Fig wraps its roots around host trees, widens, and forms larger roots that eventually take over its host tree. This unique tree is also the host plant for the Daggerwing Butterfly! Check out the latest episode of “What’s that Plant?” to learn more about the Florida Strangler Fig.

Animal Encounters: Virginia Opossum

Did you know the Virginia Opossum is the only native marsupial in North America? Watch #pbcParks “Animal Encounters” and learn some fun facts about the Virginia Opossum!

Visit Animal Ambassador, Lizzie the Virginia Opossum, at Daggerwing Nature Center — you may also spot some of the same species around the facility, boardwalk, and in other #pbcParks.

Changes Welcomed at Riverbend Park

County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 4 to celebrate the opening of Riverbend Park’s recent improvements. The ceremony was part of the free annual Pioneer Farmstead Day event  held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“Located along the Loxahatchee River, Florida’s first nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, Riverbend Park is an oasis of beauty connecting residents and visitors with our natural and historic treasures,” said District 1 Commissioner Hal R. Valeche.

Park improvements include the construction of a 4,500 square foot building that accommodate public restrooms and staff offices, reconfiguration of the entrance to include paved parking spaces and construction of a plaza/overlook for the adjacent Loxahatchee Battlefield Park. New underground utilities have also been installed to connect the planned improvements to the Town of Jupiter’s water and sewer system.

“Promoting the stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites is a core service of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department,” said Director Eric Call. “Park visitors are invited to explore the extensive system of self-guided trails and to experience the park’s diverse natural resources through hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking.”

Riverbend Park is located at 9060 Indiantown Road in Jupiter and is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Please visit www.pbcparks.com​ for more leisure opportunities available through the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.